Robotics;Notes is off to a pretty solid start. We have the genki-girl Aki and the laid-back Kai, who are the only remaining members of the Robotics Club. Their goal? Make a giant robot modeled after the titular character of a world-famous robot anime, Gunvarrel. Of course, the problem is that they have neither the manpower nor the expertise (not to mention the budget) to pull such a feat off. It seems the project has at least been started by some predecessors, so they’re not starting completely from scratch. Or was it that they were the ones who had been working on it for all this time now? It wasn’t very clear to me, but I could just have missed something.
So how does Robotics;Notes fare so far? It’s definitely not bad, but it doesn’t particularly stand out very much either in my mind. Sure, it’s got the Nitro+ “semicolon” pedigree going for it, but it’s not as if the Chaos;Head anime fared particularly well. Despite the somewhat slow start, it looks like the show might start picking up soon enough with the introduction of the mysterious gynoid at the very end. And of course, we have yet to meet the girl in the ED either. It’s entirely possible that the first episode seemed a little underwhelming because of the hype over the anime (and the relative success of Steins;Gate). Sometimes setting expectations before something airs can have the effect of bringing it down via collective disappointment, even if the show itself isn’t particularly bad. All it takes is for it to not meet the grand visions we had in mind.
That said, I thought it interesting to compare our world to that of Robotics;Notes. Canonically, it’s set in the same world-line as the end of Steins;Gate. And in terms of chronology, it’s set in the very near future of 2019. I actually had a brief discussion about the technology present in the show, and I’ve come to the conclusion that we really can’t conclude much. Steins;Gate is already set in an alternate world (from our own), and with all the world-line shifting in that show, we really can’t feasibly compare our world to that of Robotics;Notes. Obviously, they haven’t developed extremely futuristic technology, but certain areas have seen advancement, or at least greater integration. Those nifty VR phones, though already a reality, simply aren’t as commonplace in our world today as they seem to be in Robotics;Notes. And we obviously aren’t building giant robots in high school, let alone for military applications. So it seems that a “general” technological comparison can’t easily be made, as fascinating as it would be.